Windows will be going into classrooms at W.A. MacLeod Consolidated School this fall.
The school currently has some classrooms with no exterior windows, because they were divided from larger classrooms when Highland Consolidated Students were moved into Dr. W.A. MacLeod.
Debbie Buott-Matheson, spokeswoman for the school said the tender just closed for the replacement of windows and a divider for the school gym.
As soon as an evaluation is complete to determine the best pic, the work will be done.
Progressive Conservative MLA for Pictou East, Tim Houston, has issued a release saying it’s unacceptable for students to be returning to windowless classrooms for the second straight September.
Houston stated he can't believe that there has been no work done on the building over the summer to improve physical classroom conditions and says he would have a contractor on site immediately.
He is calling on the Education Minister Karen Casey to step up and make sure that a contractor is at the school, installing windows before the school year begins.
“Our children deserve natural light. Why was the entire summer - the optimal construction season - missed?”
Buott-Matheson explained that project consultants were hired in April. Once they were brought on board they had to review the complete scope of the renovation project, which at that time included the windows and gym divider as part of the larger project. “As the details of the scope started to become identified, CCRSB recognized that it would prudent to issue a separate RFP for the windows and the gym divider,” she said. “It took about three weeks for that RFP to be written and finalized, once it was issued, the RFP remained open for six weeks as per provincial guidelines.”
The RFP closed on Aug. 8 and an evaluation of the responses received is now ongoing.
She said the good thing is the separate RFP and tender for the windows means that these jobs can be completed ahead of the larger project.
But it has left some people feeling frustrated. One of those families is that of Tracy Hale who has one child attending the school now and a second that will attend eventually. She says she feels the education system has let her son down by forcing him to learn in these circumstances.
“What’s happening to our children isn’t right. Why should they have to try to learn in this environment? Forcing students and teachers to go to school in these conditions is not fair,” she said.
About $3.8 million as been allotted for upgrades to Dr. W.A. MacLeod which has been merged with Highland Consolidated from Westville after students had to be moved because of health concerns at Highland.
Additional renovations will be completed by the end of 2015 and include an addition which will house programs that can’t be offered with the current amount of space.
Buott-Matheson said project consultants were at the school Thursday to determine the specifics to be included in the upcoming upgrades.
Once the project plan is completed an request for proposals will be put out.
“Ultimately we hope the staff and the students are excited about the renovations and are looking forward to it.”
She said the renovations will extend the life of the school by 15 to 20 years.
“We’re excited for the staff and the students.”
What: 3.8 million in renovations to complete the consolidation of Highland Consolidated into Dr. W.A. MacLeod.
When: Windows and gym divider to be installed this fall. Addition to be completed by end of 2015
Number of students: 470